There have been several players whose careers have been affected by Infectious Mononucleosis (aka: Mono or “the kissing disease”): Mario Ancic, Roger Federer, Christina McHale, Heather Watson and Robin Soderling immediately come to mind.
- Mono is caused primarily by EBV (Epstein Barr Virus)
- 95% of the adult world has been exposed to EBV (a Herpes virus)
- EBV often causes no symptoms in the infected adult
- However, at least 25% of teenagers and young adults who get infected will develop Infectious Mono
- Other causes include: CMV (Cytomegalovirus); HIV; Hepatitis A, B and C; Rubella virus; Toxoplasma gondii (Toxoplasmosis); and Streptococcal Pyogenes (strep throat)
- It is contagious
- It is transmitted by bodily fluids: saliva, blood, semen, tears
SYMPTOMS may appear 4-6 weeks after exposure/infection with EBV
- Extreme fatigue
- Head and body aches
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes (axillary, cervical and inguinal)
- Enlargement of the liver or spleen (known as organomegaly) may also occur in some people
- Diagnosis is made primarily by your presenting symptoms
- Blood tests can be done to make the diagnosis if symptoms are atypical
PROGNOSIS and TREATMENT
- Symptoms are usually self-limiting and most people get better within 2-4 weeks; however, fatigue and organomegaly, if present, may persist for several more weeks.
- A small percentage of people remain symptomatic for 6 months or more (chronic active EBV infection).
- Consult your doctor to get correctly diagnosed
- No vaccine is currently available for Infectious Mononucleosis.
- Stay hydrated.
- Get as much rest as possible.
- OTC (over-the-counter) anti-inflammatory medications may help with the pain and fever.